Thoughts for Reflection from Benedictine & Monastic Authors

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The gift of the Cross

“Resurrection will shine in our lives if we are giving ourselves with loving obedience to Jesus, but otherwise, even though our life may look shiny on the surface, there is no dying inside, and we are only “a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1).
When St. Paul speaks of being baptized into the death of Jesus, he is using different words to say what Jesus himself said: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34). The dying of Jesus and the cross are the way to joy and to eternal life. In a beautiful meditation, St. Francis de Sales tells us what a gift it is to have been baptized into the death of Christ:
The everlasting God has in his wisdom foreseen from all eternity the cross that he now presents to you as a gift from his inmost heart. This cross he now sends you he has considered with his all-knowing eyes, understood with his divine mind, tested with his wise justice, warmed with loving arms, and weighed with his own hands, to see that it be not one LOW inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with his holy name, anointed it with his grace, perfumed it with his consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God.”
Pg 83

From:  Life Lessons from the Monastery
by Jerome Kodell, OSB

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